In life there are times when one is exhausted by what one loves to do. It is when one is out option and monotony of daily routine becomes an unbearable case. This monotony is necessary and in other words called hard work which to find success, has to be in consistent with. Similar was the case with Pep Guardiola, in the middle of 2012 the Barcelona coach, after winning each and every trophy or championship by rallying his troops of 11 men on a grass field consistently for four years. He was the inventor of a new phase a football in this second decade of 21st century, the dominance of one team. But then he needed a new challenge, and took a year off and went to Bayern Munich, another european giant with success in its bloods.
To fill the pages of Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich, the Spanish journalist, Marti Perarnau, was given access to chronicle Pep’s day to day thoughts, methods, and the new challenge he’s has taken himself.
The book consists more than Pep Guardiola’s first season in Germany. It is the complete portrait of one of the greatest football coaches of 21st century. It consists the philosophy by which Pep works everyday and the functionality he adopts at Bayern Munich in 2013. His methods, tactics, philosophy, his emotional touch to the game and his obsessiveness for the game of football. Perarnau was granted access to all team meetings, training sessions, locker room, face to face over a coffee with Pep at times, his left and right hand men, the players and has done a good job by accounting that much in sheer 488 pages.
That season of 2013-14 Bayern mashed domestic records on their way to the double. The author does not fail to account Pep’s ideas and how he sees his team playing on the green grass rather than the media and world. They very infamous obligation of playing tiquitaca at Barcelona, Pep justifies that he in fact, hates “passing ball just for the sake of it, with no clear intention. And it’s pointless”, he says. He just happens to love possession football but that gives him more chance to attack and score and every person passionate enough about the game hasn’t failed to notice that.
At times, Perarnau breaks down Guardiola’s tactical system into discrete units. The false 9, the 15-pass build up, the 3232 formation against Manchester United, the 343 blunder against Real Madrid in champions League semi-final resulting in defeat. The narrative of the book is what drives the book forward but at times disappointed me, as a reader since there is repetition of the context used in previous chapters already. The book does’t fails to give a reader full insight, and is an intriguing read for a passionate admirer either of Pep Guardiola or the game or for even the admirers of leadership, quality, excellence and strategic planning.
4 out of 5